Updated: May 16, 2021
Unfortunately, the news has not been good
By Bianca Darski
B.Sc. in Biology
Ph.D. in Ecology
In this year of 2020, we are dealing with intense environmental and social disasters. In addition to the COVID 19 pandemic, which has completely changed peoples habits worldwide. The effects of the pandemic have been compounded by natural disasters such as storms, cyclones, hurricanes, floods, droughts, deforestation and fires.
It is impossible not to be moved by the fires that occurred and are occurring in forests, grasslands and savannas in different parts of the world, such as in Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Russia, the United States, Indonesia and the region of tropical Africa*. The concerns are exacerbated for those who are interested, study, research, love, work with nature.
The organisers of the Great Southern BioBlitz are not indifferent to the current moment. On the contrary, we believe that education and the sharing of ideas and knowledge is a fundamental part of maintaining people's mental health. We are all volunteers who have come together from different countries across Southern Hemisphere to organise, promote and engage people in citizen science through our event.
Feeling sad and helpless in the face of the daily news is understandable. What we hope to offer a break, time to take a deep breath and contemplate the nature around us. We hope to offer a brief moment to appreciate the network of life to which we are all connected.
We believe in science, education and good people are the majority.
This is our invitation. Join us in this celebration of biodiversity.
Great Southern BioBlitz Team from Brazil, 2020
Come to know some of our local organisers in Brazil who are working to promote an understanding of biodiversity in our region.
* Most fires in Africa are a natural process that has been going on for thousands of years, according to Niels Andela, professor at the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Cardiff University. Source: BBC News Brasil. 2020. Forest fires around the world are the largest' in scale and in CO2 emissions' in 18 years. Accessed on 19/09/2020. https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/geral-54202546
See below how to participate.
For four days (September 25-28), we invite everyone to record observations of fungi, plants and animals around us. You can share photos of trees in your backyard, birds on streetlights, ants on your living room floor, of fungi on your garden bed.
1) Download the iNaturalist.org App and create an account
2) Check if your city or region is registered in the Greater Southern Hemisphere Bioblitz **
3) During the event, take photos of fungi, plants, birds, insects and wild animals. Remember not to photograph your puppy, but rather that ant that is passing by your kitchen.
4) Post your observations to the iNaturalist app or website
5) Follow the event on social networks #GSBioblitz #
** If your city or region is not registered, create a project or sign in as a member of the "Esquenta Brasil Geral" project at https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/esquenta-do-grande-bioblitz-do-hemisferio-sul-2020-brazil-general Please note: People's safety is our biggest concern. Stay safe and follow the COVID recommendations for your area. Observe biodiversity from your backyard.
If you are going to make observations on a National Park or going for hiking while you observe, please always go with someone else, follow the trails, keep the social distance and wear a mask. Be away of fired or dangerous zones. Let's celebrate our biodiversity consciously and safely.